Name: Jake Burbage
Where you might have seen (or heard) him: As Henry Finnerty on the Fox/WB sitcom Grounded for Life and as the voice of Benny the Bull in Dora the Explorer. He also appeared on Hollywood Squares, Sex in the City and in several commercials.
Why he left Hollywood: “I was being home-schooled, and my education was in jeopardy,” says Burbage, who is originally from Delran, N.J. In 2004, he and his parents decided he’d go back to middle school. “I was mature enough to see it was best for me.”
What he’s been doing since: He never really deserted the stage, and acted (and sang) throughout high school. This spring he appeared in All College Theater’s production of Proof.
What he loves about acting: “My favorite part is the work I do that the audience never sees—figuring out who the character is, his back story, his memories, how he walks, and holds his hands—the whole immersive experience of becoming a person entirely separate from myself.”
Why he chose TCNJ: “I have a lot of family who have gone here and spoke highly of it. It was close to home, but far enough away so it wasn’t right on top of home.”
What’s on the horizon: “There are so many things I’m interested in besides acting. Like directing. And writing. It’s hard for me to commit to one thing.”
Top photo (c) Lynne Delade. Bottom photo (c) S_bukley/Image Collect.